Chad Carr

By Charles E. Ramirez, The Detroit News

Chad Carr, whose fatal battle with brain cancer made headlines and captured hearts around the world, has helped researchers looking for a cure for his condition make a significant discovery.

By studying Chad’s brain tumor, pediatricians, neurosurgeons and pathologists with the University of Michigan’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Initiative were able to identify a mutation of a gene called PTEN and its critical role in the development of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, or DIPG, which are aggressive tumors.

Chad, the grandson of former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, died from DIPG in 2015 — 14 months after he was diagnosed. Chad’s family donated his tumor tissue to research.

“It’s amazing news,” said Tammi Carr, Chad’s mother, on Thursday. “To know that they found something that’s going to impact research down the road, it gives more meaning to what we did and to Chad’s short life.”

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